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'Quiet revolution' brings back Gaelic

THE steady growth of Gaelic-medium education is almost a well kept secret, Graham Donaldson, senior chief inspector, told a conference for Gaelic-medium teachers in Nairn last week.

Over the past 17 years, there had been a "quiet revolution", characterised by "innovation, tenacity and no little success".

Almost 1,900 pupils in 61 schools were in Gaelic-medium classes and more than 400 in nursery classes, plus others in playgroups.

In the secondary sector, 900 pupils were following fluent speakers courses and more than 2,300 were in learners' groups. More than 300 study some secondary subjects through Gaelic, mainly history, geography and personal and social education.

Turning to teacher training, Mr Donaldson accepted supply was a concern. Between 1993 and 2001, the number of Gaelic-medium teachers grew from 60 to 150 but only eight students are in their final year of primary training and with just three scheduled for next year.

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